How to work with Azure’s managed MariaDB

Support for one of the web’s most popular databases can help you migrate your code to cloud-native architectures

If Microsoft is to succeed in making Azure its future, it needs to bring developers to its cloud platform. That would be easy if we were back in the early days of the PC, when it was still possible to build and lock in an ecosystem. But we live in a world were developers have choice, and where they choose the appropriate tools for the tasks at hand, mixing and matching proprietary and open source tools.

Azure’s original platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approach made that hard to deliver, with only a limited number of services supported. So developers went where there was flexibility, to Amazon Web Services and its virtual infrastructures. Microsoft’s resulting pivot to Azure supporting infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) simplified bringing your own tools and services, but like AWS, you were only using Azure as a managed data center, hosting your VMs and your data.

As Azure continues to evolve, and as cloud-native development models based on microservices and container orchestration replace lift-and-shift monolithic VM-based architectures, it’s begun a slow shift back to PaaS. In line with the rest of the industry that’s also led to Azure offering new platform services that can replace applications running on VMs.

Azure’s return to PaaS goes through database services

Perhaps the most obvious of these changes has been the launch of a series of managed database services, offering simpler billing models and less administrative overhead than running your own database VMs. With a managed database service, you can bring existing application back ends to the cloud, ready for use with newer application development models, without having to manage your database infrastructure and storage.

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